In January we reported Kazakh sites naming 28 year old Mexican Alan Campa (17-5, 11) as the next opponent for Nurzat Sabirov (10-0, 9) [Нурзата Сабирова]. That bout was set to be part of the February 21st show in Quebec that was to be headlined by David Lemieux's bout with Poland's Robert Talarek.
Since that report several things have changed.
Firstly, more widely known, is that Lemieux has had to pull out of his contest due to a back injury. That's a big shame for the former world champion who's career seems to have been plagued with issues in recent years. Despite being generally well liked, and often great fun to watch, it's hard to imagine Lemieux sticking around in a notable capacity for much longer.
Secondly, and more relevant to us at least, is the fact that Kazakh news sources now report Campa is out of the bout with Sabirov. Instead of facing Campa the unbeaten Kazakh will be up against Elio German Rafael (15-3, 9), a Mexican based Argentinian.
We'll not pretend Rafael is an amazing opponent, but he's not terrible by any stretch. His losses have seen him suffer a majority decision to Marco Antonio Periban in 2016, a decision Adam Deines in a 2017 clash, and most recently a 10th round TKO loss to Shakeel Phinn last June.
With those losses in mind it seems likely that Rafael will take Sabirov rounds, but lose. The reality is that that's what Sabirov needs right mow, after being out of the ring since June last year. He needs rounds and he needs ring time, things that Rafael should provide, before a tougher bout later in the year.
We've known since early January that Kazakh hopeful Nurzat Sabirov (10-0, 9) [Нурзата Сабирова] would be in action on February 21st in Quebec. His bout has long been pencilled in as part of the under-card for David Lemieux's bout with Poland's Robert Talarek.
What we didn't know was who his expected opponent was.
Today news in Kazakhstan have suggested that Sabirov's opponent is likely to be 28 year old Mexican Alan Campa (17-5, 11).
The 26 year old Sabirov is one of a number of Kazakh fighters who have made their name in Canada, fighting under Eye of the Tiger management. He hasn't received the attention of Batyrzhan Jukembayev (18-0-0-2, 15) [Батыржан Джукембаев] or Sadriddin Akhmedov (12-0, 11) [Ахмедов Садриддин] but has quietly gone about things and has stopped his last 4 foes. The talented Super Middleweight will likely be hoping to have a big break out year in 2020, and appearing on a Lemieux headlined card will help with that.
Campa on the other hand isn't too well known, but has become a bit of a gatekeeeper in recent years. He's the sort of fighter that promoters bring in to test their promising fighters and his last 4 losses have come to Sergiy Derevyanchenk, Jesse Hart, D'Mitrius Ballard and Erik Bazinyan. Combined those 4 had a record of 65-0 when he faced them.
Although not officially confirmed as Sabirov's opponent yet, Campa is expected to be confirmed shortly.
Unbeaten Canadian based Kazakh hopeful Nurzat Sabirov (10-0, 9) [Нурзата Сабирова] has been pencilled in for his next bout on February 21st Le Centre Financiere Sun Life, in Rimouski, Quebec, as part of the under-card for David Lemieux's bout with Poland's Robert Talarek.
The unbeaten 26 year old had shown real promise in 2017 an 2018, fighting 4 times in both years, but saw his career slow down in 2019 when he only managed 2 fights due to an injury. That injury, which was suffered in training, forced him to cancel a bout scheduled for September against Mexican foe Brundo Sandoval and has kept him out of the ring since.
At the moment the name of Sabirov's opponent is unknown, though given his lengthy break from the ring we do expect a relatively easy win for the Super Middleweight hopeful, before bigger bouts later in the year.
Although the main event between David Lemieux (41-4, 34) and Robert Talarek (24-13-3, 16), doesn't look a great one on paper, it is worth noting that it should be an entertaining one, even if it ends up being 1-sided. Lemieux is a faded force, and was made to look really bad last time out, whilst Talarek is known among hardcore fans for his bizarre 2019 bout with Patryk Szymanski, which featured 10 knockdowns. Talarek might be limited, but the guy has heart, and is there to be hit...and boy can Lemieux still punch!
Sadly for Sabirov this injury has scuppered what would have been his most significant bout to date. Thankfully though the 25 year old has time on his side, and has time to recover from his injury before fighting again.
The talented Sabirov has already fought twice this year, picking up TKO wins in March and June, though it is disappointing that his injury has come so close to fight night.
Fingers crossed Sabirov will have a speedy recovery, though it is worth noting that the severity of the injury hasn't been documented, so it's hard to speculate on when he may be back in the ring.
Earlier today we were informed that unbeaten Kazakh hopeful Batyrzhan Jukembayev (16-0-0-2, 13) [Батыржан Джукембаев] would be returning to the ring on September 26th, in Montreal, to take on his most notable opponent to date.
The Canadian based Kazakh will be looking to secure his 17th professional win as he takes on former IBF Lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez (41-8, 15), who will be fighting for the first time since he was flat our robbed in the UK against Ohara Davies, in one of the worse decisions of 2019.
For the unbeaten Jukembayev the bout is a fantastic step up in class, a real test and a chance to him to answer some really serious questions. He's not been matched incredibly easily but this is a clear step up for him and a move in the right direction, something his last few fights haven't been. In fact it's not been since Jukembayev beat Cosme Rivera back in 2017, that he's shared the ring with someone with experience at the higher levels of the sport.
Over the last few years Vazquez, who was an avoided champion, has become a really in demand gate keeper recently. In the last two 2 years he has gone in with Josh Taylor, Thulani Mbenge, Ghislain Maduma and the aforementioned Davies, and put in very credible efforts, win or lose. A similar performance here could well see him showing too much for Jukembayev in what is a very, very well matched contest.
Jukembayev is set to be 1 of 4 Kazakh's on this card, along with Sadriddin Akhmedov (9-0, 8) [Ахмедов Садриддин], Nurzat Sabirov (10-0, 9) [Нурзат Сабиров] and Aman Kazankapov (0-0-1) [Амана Казанкапова], though none of this trio have yet had their opponents announced.
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